The Pacific Ocean is a beast and the Northwest coast holds an intensity that flares my nostrils.
I was surprised when Travis proposed that we go to the coast since he has expressed major concern of the imminent massive earthquake that is building tension along the Cascada Fault. When this thing quakes it will create a tsunami wiping out much of the northwest coastline and beyond taking out many bridges and the flooding communities. Travis is well educated on the matter and is basically bracing for it but decided to let his guard down and venture to the coast knowing how much I love it.
So we drove west from Portland thru the Willamette Valley’s lush green farm land and up over the mountains of the coastal range delivering us to the sea town of Canon Beach where we strolled out onto the sand to look at Haystack Rock. The sun peaked out and we talked about the Goonies and the sharks. We paid mind to the tsunami evacuation route signs just in case.We drove south on 101 stopping in Manzanita to hike Neahkahnie which is a sharp pointy mountain that juts out right at the edge of the sea making way for an enormous view of the crescent coastline of Manzanita. The trail was steep in some spots but well graded with lots of switch backs and as we would come about on the ocean side of the mountain (or come aBOOT as Jesse would say) we could hear the waves crashing louder and louder as we gained elevation. We lingered on the summit for a while just taking it all in. The rolling waves and the blue grey hues.We continued south to Rockaway Beach to a little beach house called “The Getaway” with a logo of a tsunami. We strolled the beach watching out for sneaker waves which are these rogue waves that can catch people off guard washing them out to sea. There are logs that scatter the beaches and these logs can get swooped up by a sneaker wave and if you are not careful you can get rolled over by one. People die from this. And the logs are saturated with water and almost impossible to lift off of someone who gets pinned under one. A fourteen year old girl was killed this way at a beach in southern oregon on the very same afternoon that we were on the coast.
We tried to watch the sunset but the clouds rolled masking any sort of potential big showy sunset. It was still quiet beautiful tho and peaceful on the beach.
We cooked a festive dinner back at our little beach condo and we watched the Goonies. Before we went to sleep we discussed our evacuation plan in case the earthquake and tsunami came. We had our headlamps, backpacks and boots at the ready in case we had to sprint towards higher ground. I imagined this happening and I imagined surviving and then I assumed it would not happen but then I would imagine it happening. Despite these earthquake ridden thoughts I slept the best I had slept since landing in Oregon and woke up feeling refreshed.